May 29, 2019

Mitch McConnell: Republicans would fill SCOTUS vacancy in 2020

Mitch McConnell. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said Republicans would fill a Supreme Court vacancy even if it occurs during the 2020 presidential election cycle.

"Oh, we'd fill it ... What can't be undone is a life-time appointment to a young man or woman who believes in the quaint notion that the job of the judge is to follow the law."
— McConnell said at a luncheon speech in Kentucky

Why it matters: With 53 seats, Republicans could confirm a nominee in 2020 regardless of Democratic challenge. Three of the 9 Supreme Court justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Clarence Thomas — are 70 or older.

The backdrop: In 2016, McConnell refused President Obama's Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland, saying: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice,” per Politico. “Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

  • The Senator dodged a similar questions posed in October 2018, saying: “We’ll see if there is a vacancy."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 6,889,889 — Total deaths: 399,642 — Total recoveries — 3,085,326Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.

George Floyd updates

Protesters in Washington, D.C. on June 6. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators are rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds have assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: People around the world rally against racism

Despite a ban on large gatherings implemented in response to the coronavirus pandemic, protesters rally against racism in front of the American Embassy in Paris on June 6. Photo: Julien Mattia/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of people have continued to rally in cities across the world against racism and show their support this week for U.S. demonstrators protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

Why it matters: The tense situation in the U.S. has brought the discussion of racism and discrimination onto the global stage at a time when most of the world is consumed by the novel coronavirus.